A senior Taipei police official yesterday vowed to uphold the law when policing pro-independence rallies on Saturday and Sunday, which are set to coincide with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inauguration for a second term.
Speaking at a press conference held by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative caucus, Taipei City Police Department Deputy Commissioner Wei Ti-kun (衛悌琨) said that police would follow the principles of “protecting those who follow the law, cracking down on irregularities and arresting those who resort to violence.”
TSU caucus whip Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said she hoped that police would not deploy razor-wire barricades or alternative service draftees around the planned rallies.
She also said the police should not use pepper spray to drive protesters away.
Wei said security force deployment programs had been arranged for the inauguration ceremony on Sunday. Traffic controls would be imposed depending on the security requirements for the officials and foreign guests invited to attend the event, he added.
No razor-wire barricades would be deployed, Wei said, adding that in line with the rules governing police affairs, alternative service draftees cannot be deployed on the front line of police activities.
Police are not equipped with pepper spray, he added.
People planning to attend the rallies should do so in a peaceful and rational manner, while those who do not plan to take part should avoid the restricted zones around the Presidential Office, where the inauguration ceremony will be held, the police official said.
The TSU is among several pro-independence organizations that are expected to jointly stage a series of protest rallies and parades around the country this weekend.
Calling on the public to stand up and voice their discontent with Ma, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) accused the president of surrendering Taiwanese sovereignty to Beijing with what he said was Ma’s pro-China policy.
Ma “will become a joke if he dares curry favor with China in his inaugural speech,” he said.
Aside from the TSU, other organizers of the protest activities include the Democratic Progressive Party, the Taiwan Nation Alliance and the Taiwan Association of University Professors.